Assam state border

Guwahati, Jan 06: Assam government and the Meghalaya government moved the Supreme Court challenging the orders of the Meghalaya High Court staying the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by chief ministers of the two state for settling their border dispute on Friday.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala took note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the matter needed an urgent hearing as the single and division bench of the high court stayed the operation of the inter-state border pact which was signed earlier last year.

“We will hear it. Please provide three copies of the petition,” the CJI said.

On December 09, a single judge bench of the Meghalaya High Court had ordered an interim stay on physical demarcation or erection of boundary posts on the ground in connection with the inter-state border pact.

Later a division bench of the high court refused to interfere with the order of the single-judge bench leading to the filing of an appeal in the top court.

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Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and his counterpart and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had in March signed an MoU, demarcating the border in at least six of the 12 contested locations that often raised tensions between the two states.

On March 29 last year, the agreement was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah by the chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya.

The pact sought to resolve the protracted dispute in six of the 12 places along the 884.9-km border between the two states.

The boundary dispute between Assam and Meghalaya has lingered for 50 years. However, efforts to resolve it have gained pace in recent times.

Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as a separate state in 1972, but the new state challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act, of 1971, leading to disputes in 12 border locations.